Car Battery Return Policies Detailed by Retailer

Replacing your car battery only to find that the new one doesn't work as expected or doesn't fit your car is a frustrating experience.

Whether you can return the battery will depend on where you bought it and whether you've installed it.

Close-up of a man's hand carrying a car battery

Some stores will accept new or used batteries for return or exchange; however, most will only offer refunds if the battery is new and uninstalled.

If your battery isn’t eligible for a return, the store may offer a replacement or you may be able to get one through the battery’s warranty.

Below, I explain the car battery return policies at the major auto parts retailers.

I’ve also included details about the available warranty coverage at each store, which may be a helpful alternative if your battery isn’t eligible for return.

Car Battery Return Policies by Retailer

I contacted store locations and corporate customer service representatives for the following popular auto parts retailers and viewed their policy documentation online to confirm their battery return policies.

I’ve ordered the list alphabetically so you can more easily find the policy that applies to your purchase.

Advance Auto Parts logo

Advance Auto Parts

  • Battery return time limit: Varies at the store’s discretion; in most cases, the time limit is based on your warranty.[1][2]
  • Refund or exchange? Varies at the store’s discretion; usually, you’ll receive a replacement.[1][2]
  • Condition requirements: Uninstalled and in new condition unless defective[1]
  • Other requirements: Must provide valid receipt and photo ID[3][1]
  • Find a store

Auto Zone logo


  • Battery return time limit: 90 days[4][5]
  • Refund or exchange? Either if uninstalled; otherwise, you’ll receive a replacement.[4][5]
  • Condition requirements: Must be in new condition and never installed to receive a refund[4][5]
  • Other requirements: Requires proof of purchase and may require a photo ID; if you don’t have the receipt, you can call AutoZone at (800) 288-6966 for a transaction lookup.[4][5]
  • Find a store

Costco logo

Costco Wholesale

  • Battery return time limit: 36 months, which is also the length of Costco’s battery warranty[6][7]
  • Refund or exchange? Either; if you request a refund, note that it may be a partial refund based on the age of the battery.[7]
  • Condition requirements: Can be in new or used condition[7]
  • Other requirements: Must provide proof of purchase; if you don’t have your receipt, a store associate may be able to look it up using your membership card. You should also take your return to the tire center rather than the customer service desk.[8][7]
  • Find a store

NAPA logo

NAPA Auto Parts

  • Battery return time limit: 30 days[9][10]
  • Refund or exchange? Either[10]
  • Condition requirements: Must be in new (uninstalled) and resellable condition[9][10]
  • Other requirements: Must have the receipt or order confirmation[9][10]
  • Find a store

OReilly logo

O’Reilly Auto Parts

  • Battery return time limit: No set time limit, but it’s best to make your return as soon as possible[11][12]
  • Refund or exchange? Either, though your eligibility for a refund will depend on the circumstances of your return[11][12]
  • Condition requirements: Must be in its original packaging, unopened, and uninstalled[11][12]
  • Other requirements: Must provide the original receipt[11]
  • Find a store

Pep Boys logo

Pep Boys

  • Battery return time limit: 30 days[13][14]
  • Refund or exchange? Exchange only[13][14]
  • Condition requirements: May accept batteries that have been installed; an associate will conduct testing to verify that the battery is defective before accepting the return.[13][15][14]
  • Other requirements: Must provide the receipt[14]
  • Find a store

Walmart logo


  • Battery return time limit: Varies depending on the condition of the battery and whether any warranty coverage applies[16]
  • Refund or exchange? Refund or exchange if uninstalled; exchange only if installed and in non-working condition[16]
  • Condition requirements: Can be new or installed; you can request a return whether the battery is defective or it doesn’t fit your vehicle.[17]
  • Other requirements: Must have the original receipt[17]
  • Find a store

Tip: Be sure to bring as much information as you can when making your return — the original receipt, original method of payment, any membership or loyalty card you used during your purchase, and any available warranty paperwork.

If you have trouble making a return, it may help to contact the store’s corporate customer service department or visit a different store location.

What To Do if You Can’t Return Your Battery

If your battery is ineligible for return, you may be able to get a refund or replacement through the store’s warranty program.

The following warranties are available at the stores listed above; the warranty period varies depending on the battery brand and model.

You will need proof of purchase to make a warranty claim.

Note that you can find the exact warranty period that applies to your battery on your original receipt or by contacting the store.

  • Advance Auto Parts: Refund or replacement within 90 days to 48 months after purchase[18][3]
  • AutoZone: Refund or replacement within 90 days to 48 months after purchase[4][5]
  • Costco Wholesale: Refund or replacement within 36 months of purchase[8][7]
  • NAPA Auto Parts: Free replacement for 18 to 36 months after purchase[19][10]
  • O’Reilly Auto Parts: Free replacement within one to three years after purchase[20][21][12]
  • Pep Boys: Free replacement for 30 to 36 months after purchase[22]
  • Walmart: Free replacement within one to three years after purchase[23][24][25][16]


If I’m eligible for a refund, can I get it in cash?

This varies by store, but typically, no; in most cases, the store will issue a refund to the original form of payment.[3][16]

What are my options after the warranty period ends?

After the warranty period, you may be able to get a pro-rated replacement. NAPA Auto Parts, for example, will pro-rate replacements after the warranty ends if the battery proves to be defective.[19] If your battery is ineligible for return, has no warranty coverage, and pro-rated replacements aren’t available, you’ll need to buy a new battery.[1][5]

Will I get a core charge refund when returning or replacing a battery?

Yes, you should receive a core charge refund once you physically return the unwanted battery to the store. Core charge refunds are typically handled separately from return and warranty refunds, and the store will refund the core charge as long as you comply with the requirements (e.g., cleaning and draining the core before returning it).[5][7]

In Summary

If the battery you want to return is in working order with no issues that prevent you from using it, you typically can only return it for a refund if it’s in new, uninstalled condition.[1][5][10]

However, if you have a defective car battery, most stores will offer a refund or replacement as long as you have proof of purchase.[1][5][10]

If your return is outside of the store’s usual time limit, your battery may still be eligible for a refund or replacement through a warranty, which can offer coverage for anywhere from 90 days to four years after purchase.[18][4][19]

Feel free to ask any additional questions you have or share your experiences with car battery returns in the comments section below.

  1. Advance Auto Parts store customer service representatives[][][][][][][]
  2. Advance Auto Parts customer service via live chat[][]
  5. AutoZone store customer service representatives[][][][][][][][][]
  7. Costco Warehouse store customer service representatives[][][][][][]
  10. NAPA Auto Parts store customer service representatives[][][][][][][]
  12. O’Reilly Auto Parts store customer service representatives[][][][]
  14. Pep Boys store customer service representatives[][][][]
  16. Walmart store customer service representatives[][][][]
  17. Walmart customer service (800) 925-6278[][]

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